Reviews Archives - Page 5 of 81 - The Millions

May 25, 2016

Ethical Vertigo and the Human Genome: On Siddhartha Mukherjee’s ‘The Gene’ 0

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If ethical issues in genetics are to be solved, we’ll need not only skepticism and compassion, but also a clear understanding of the humans our choices affect.

May 19, 2016

Pussy Riot: One Woman’s Vagina Takes on Japan’s Obscenity Laws 0

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The obscenity charges against Rokudenashiko stemmed from her art, which involved making things from casts of her manko (vagina). She had turned her manko into buttons, dioramas, and cell phone covers.

May 19, 2016

The Poetry of Small Things: On Ruth Goodman’s ‘How to Be a Tudor’ 1

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You wouldn’t expect the intricacies of Tudor baking, brewing, ploughing, cooking, needlework, painting, dancing, and card-playing to hold an audience rapt, and yet Goodman makes the minutia of everyday life a half-millennia ago tremendously interesting.

May 17, 2016

He Doesn’t Wear a Game Face: On David Foster Wallace’s ‘String Theory’ 5

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The sense one gets reading these pieces is of a discovery process, the author stumbling sentence-by-sentence toward understanding — a task to which he wholly devotes his profane, fucked-up, intellectually omnivorous self.

May 12, 2016

It Gets into Your Bones: On Kate Tempest’s ‘The Bricks That Built the Houses’ 0

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Working hard, going to college, saving money — in the old days, before the arrival of the moneyed class, these things were believed to guarantee a secure future. Now, they might not even lead to secure employment.

May 10, 2016

Here’s to the Cowardly Ones: On Dmitri Shostakovich and Emotional Rebellion 11

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If Shostakovich succumbed to power, it was in an effort to leave the world with beauty that cannot be marred by power.

May 9, 2016

Die a Million People: On ‘The Colonel Who Would Not Repent’ 7

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Salil Tripathi’s book serves as a primer to the current crisis — including the extremists’ slaying of foreigners, non-Muslims, and writers that has begun since the book’s completion.

May 9, 2016

The Revolution Has Been Televised: On Big Sports and Big Money 0

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In 1966, baseball’s reserve clause that bound a player to one team meant that the average major league player’s salary was $14,000. Topps paid each exactly $125 to put them on a bubble-gum card.

May 6, 2016

Upscale, Artisanal Bullshit of the Highest Order 12

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My experience reading Gone with the Mind spawned an array of adjectives, often in the span of a few seconds. Absurd, juvenile, sophisticated, selfless, masturbatory, profound. That’s Mark Leyner, and he knows it.

May 6, 2016

Ward Farnsworth Doesn’t Mess Around: On ‘Classical English Metaphor’ 1

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For those who venture into Farnsworth’s level-headed take on murky abstractions, the benefits will be less far-reaching, less comprehensively employable, but they will also be richer, longer-lasting, and as demystifying and powerful as the strongest metaphors.